Exhibition | Katherine Spindler: TO HOLD TIME | at Barnard Gallery | Cape Town | Art Week

Katherine Spindler: TO HOLD TIME

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 to Tuesday, 24 October 2017
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 - 6:30pm

Katherine Spindler’s artistic process is essentially one guided by intuition before and above concept. As such, it is difficult, and perhaps inappropriate, to attempt to describe an overarching impetus for this new collection of work, entitled TO HOLD TIME. The very title indicates an impossible act, which is nevertheless ubiquitously attempted, in the ways we continually endeavour to contain and explain time, to endow it with meaning and parameters, to master it, direct it.

Spindler’s consideration of time is one played out on a personal, empathetic and phenomenological scale rather than one concerned with objective or scientific measuring. Time becomes a question of our ways of being, of understanding, of navigating. The artist looks to how we navigate life through gesture, ritual, routine and rhythm. Fragmentary gestures are made monumental, while monuments – such as Spindler’s reoccurring lighthouse – are rendered fragmentary and diaphanous.

The relationship and interaction between fragment and whole is thus core to this body of work. It is especially evident in the large scale assemblages which re-enact a mechanism essential to Spindler’s practice – a meditative act of collecting, arranging and rearranging images, texts and objects in a constant engagement with the ways in which meaning can be framed, reframed, and disordered. This relationship between fragment and whole in turn contains within it tensions between knowledge and instinct, containment and release, empathy and scrutiny. It is through quiet intuition that Spindler navigates these tensions, and it is through this same intuition that the viewer should seek to be guided through the works collected here.

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The unlikely marriage of movement and stillness, of tumult and quietude, is a defining characteristic of Katherine Spindler’s oeuvre, eliciting a similar mix of emotion in the viewer. In examining Spindler’s paintings one has the sense that things are moving just beneath and beyond the surface, too vast to fully perceive or understand. With a quiet immensity and arresting gravitas, Spindler’s work sees light and shadow flicker and evade, swirl in eddies, swell and recede. The surface of the canvas, like water, is unstable, constantly shifting and undulating while maintaining a meditative stillness that both captivates and mystifies. Often blurring, veiling, or erasing the images she works with, Spindler’s intention is to evoke rather than explicate, to suggest more than to prescribe.


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55 Main Street 



Cape Town

South Africa

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